Uncovering Southern Italy & the Amalfi Coast Tour

A 12 day trip to Italy 
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Discover the flawless coastlines and rolling mountains on a custom tailored tour of Italy’s unexplored south. Sip the citrus flavor of Limoncello with a view of the quiet shores of the Amalfi Coast. Stroll along hidden cave-houses in a medieval town and follow your guide along a historical trail lined by ancient olive groves and wild caper bushes. Traditional homes stand out from the hills with white facades and cylindrical stone roofs that gleam in the sunshine. Roman life has been excavated from the ashes of Mount Vesuvius in the famous city of Pompeii, and it’s all yours to explore. Travel from coast to coast for an unparalleled southern Italian experience. 

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General Information

Photos
Fjord of Furore with Amalfi Kayak. Photo Credit: Amalfi Kayak
Kayak along Amalfi Coast with Amalfi Kayak. Photo Credit: Amalfi Kayak
Rest on Amalfi Shores with Amalfi Kayak. Photo Credit: Amalfi Kayak
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Naples, Bari, Savelletri, Fasano Valley, Fiumicello, Cliento National Park, Maratea, Capri, Pompeii, Rivello, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Salerno 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Amalfi – Arrive in Naples and Enjoy a Scenic Drive to the Town of Amalfi

The Amalfi Coast wraps around the water with its rugged cliffs and verdant forests. The iridescent turquoise water laps at the base of the rough boulders that jut out from the landscape. Your flight will land at Naples International Airport, and your private transfer will meet you at baggage claim. Your first view of Italy will be the towering Mount Vesuvius over the edge of the Bay of Naples. The legendary mountain continues to loom over the water and the edges of what remains of Pompeii. Continue through the colorful streets of Sorrento before you reach the border of the famous Amalfi Coast.

The narrow two-lane road hugs the coastline and towns rise along the hills rise with terraced streets that overlook the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. Sporadic castle walls and turrets from the Middle Ages decorate promontories and the combination of charming villages, and captivating landscape has a dramatic allure. The scent of blossoming lemon trees blends with the lush vegetation and briny sea air. Once in the town of Amalfi, for which the coast is named, you settle into a luxurious hotel near the heart of town.

The villa-style accommodation will provide a terrace view and a spectacular panorama of the coastline, from the small marina to the left to the blossoming wildflowers along the precipice. In the evening, make your way to the lookout towers that remain from the defense system designed to protect the town against pirate attacks. The nearly 30 defensive ramparts tell stories that span more than 800 years. The oldest towers have a cylindrical shape, while the square-shaped towers were erected in the 16th-century under the Spanish Viceroy.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, dinner

Day 2: Amalfi – Explore the Stunning Panoramas and Charms of the Amalfi Coast

The sunrise spreads light over the Mediterranean Sea to highlight the local fishing boats as they make their way along the water in hopes of filling their nets with fish. In the calm of the morning, you can hear the water as it splashes at the shores of town. The 11th-century church of Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea peals its bells in the heart of town, erected during the height of Amalfi’s maritime power with a flight of stairs that glide upwards from the floor to the main entrance. The stripes of the façade stand out in the contrast to the green trees in the background, and the solid golden sandstone buildings encircle the church.

Meet your private guide and set out on a remarkable tour of the Amalfi Coast to visit the towns along the water’s edge, including the enchanting town of Positano. The westernmost settlement along the Amalfi Coast boasts a chic atmosphere with pastel painted homes that shine pink and peach as they ascend the hillside, encircled with lush forest. The 13th-century church of Santa Maria Assunta contains a remarkable dome decorated with majolica tiles as narrow lanes meander between the homes and the port that is situated along the glowing cobalt water. Visitors and locals take paddleboats out to enjoy the fresh sea air as sailboats drift across the horizon to catch the sweeping breeze.

For a truly unique tour, join your local guides at Amalfi Kayak and paddle along the beaches of the Amalfi Coast. Inhale the soothing ambiance and freedom of becoming a part of the Mediterranean Sea. As you ride along the shores, capture scenic views of astounding historical monuments. Immerse yourself in the spectacular Fjord of Furore while you rest on the shores and soak in the beauty of the your surrounding.

The town embodies Southern Italy and the gilded cinematic qualities of the region. In the glistening charm of the town, you will enjoy a private Limoncello making class to learn the art of making the illustrious southern Italian liqueur. The sweet lemon aroma overtakes the scent of the Mediterranean as your instructor will explain the importance of fresh produce and the thickness of the lemon peel. They drop the skin into a jar with pure alcohol, water, and sugar to let the cocktail sit, simmer, and fuse for weeks.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Amalfi – Visit Antiquity with a Private Tour of the Preserved City of Pompeii

In the fresh light of day, visitors and locals take small boats to the Conca dei Marini, a small cove with a secluded beach. People set out their towels along the pebbled shore and sit beneath the light shade of the parasol. A small beachside restaurant cooks creative dishes with the freshest catch to fill the beach with the aroma of freshly grilled octopus dressed in a squeeze of bright lemon. Your guide will meet you in the lobby of the hotel and escort you around the Bay of Naples. The looming summit of Mount Vesuvius continues to look menacing due to its history in the region.

Exit your car at the entrance to the city of Pompeii, one of the finest preserved Roman cities due to the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 AD. Nearly 20 feet of ash and pumice-stone overtook Pompeii to freeze the entire city in a time capsule. Your guide will lead you into the principal square known as the Roman Forum. Colonnades wrap around the piazza, adorned with a nearly 10-foot tall base where the Temple of Jupiter once stood. Walk along the cobbled streets and peer into the Terme Stabiane, the largest bathhouse in the city. Stoves helped to heat the water for both the male and female rooms, reminding you of a modern-day gymnasium.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Amalfi – Discover the Splendor and History of the Island of Capri

At breakfast, it is easy to get lost in the panoramic views of the coastline to enjoy the simple pleasures of the scent of fresh espresso, the cobalt blue water, and the contours of the cliffs. After your meal, make your way to the marina in Sorrento and board the boat to Capri. The Island is famed for its beauty and stands approximately 12 miles off the shore of mainland Italy. The cliffs climb as high as 200 feet above the sea and have captivated fisherman, Italian movie stars, and Roman elites alike, including emperors Augustus and Tiberius.

The boat docks in the port of Marina Grande and the colorful houses of the fishermen line the promenade and look out to sea. Fishing boats dock along the natural harbor and wade in the tranquil blue water. A funicular carries people to the islands’ main town of Capri located at the top of the plateau. For a grand view of the island’s history, make your way to Villa Jovis at the northeast end of the island where Emperor Tiberius built a magnificent villa along the terraced hills.

The ruins remain and provide a sense of the grandeur that once overtook the corner of the island between 27 and 37 AD to cover more than 193,750 square feet. Near the end of your visit, enter into the Blue Grotto, a sea cave with a small opening for rowboats. Your guide will lead you into the mouth of the cave and you will duck beneath the low-hanging boulders. The refracted sunlight fills the cave with iridescence beneath the water to make the water shimmer and glow a blue more akin to a precious stone than the sea. 

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Maratea – Enter into the Basilicata Region to Traverse the Town of Maratea

In the morning, visitors set out to enjoy the fresh air on the Path of the Gods, a winding trail along the ridges of the coast that lead from Agerola to Positano. The trees open up to spectacular views of the cobalt blue sea along the Gulf of Salerno. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you southeast into the Basilicata region and the hilltop village of Maratea. Traditional Italian culture comes to life in a region often overlooked by visitors.

Your luxurious accommodation will overlook the entire town and is situated within the walls of a former ancient monastery. Mountaintops roll around the streets for an unparalleled skyline as enchanting villages populate the narrow 20-mile stretch of coastline that overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea. Sheltered coves open beneath dramatic cliffs decorated with 44 hilltop churches. You will feel as though you have stepped into a well-kept secret as if the wooded mountains have protected the region from outsiders as the colorful houses contrast the trees and the azure waters.

The town of Maratea stands more than 1,000 feet above sea level, beneath the lingering summit of Monte San Biagio. After settling into your hotel, step out into the streets for an introductory tour of Maratea. The aroma of fresh espresso drifts out of the local cafes as the sound of women in high-heeled shoes walking through town echoes along the cobblestone streets. A marble statue of Christ the Redeemer adorns the mountain summit, visible from the open piazzas of town. 

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast, dinner

Day 6: Maratea – Trek to the Summit of Mount San Biagio at Cilento National Park

The sleepy streets of Maratea fill with the aroma of frothy cappuccinos and freshly baked brioche in the morning light. The calm waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea lap at the various beaches that stretch across the Basilicata region. After breakfast, make the trek along the trail to the summit of Mount San Biagio to visit the base of the marble statue and enjoy the views of the mountaintop. The trail takes you through Cilento National Park, which is the second largest park in the country and stretches from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the foot of the Apennines.

Prickly pears blossom along the rugged hilltops, and wild lavender grows across the meadows. The breeze carries in the scent of the sea, which overtakes the herbaceous aroma of the lavender. The trail winds along the steep ridges of mountainside before it arrives at the peak and a height of 2,112 above sea level. Dense forest carpets the mountainside between town and the summit. The statue stands 72 feet tall with His arms raised upwards and outwards in acceptance of those who trek to the top of the trail. Your reward is more than the statue, but also the incredible view to the horizon, filled with the lush hills, jutting promontories, cobalt water, and edges of town. Take the trail back to Maratea and see the hamlet of Santa Caterina, home to butterflies, wildflowers, and ancient caves with historical religious wall paintings.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Maratea – Enjoy the Coast and Castles at Fiumicello with a Day at Leisure

The narrow lanes of Maratea lead to small outdoor cafes that overtake the open square of Piazza Buraglia. Locals enjoy the spreading sunlight and watch passersby as if the world were a fabulous movie. Follow the cobbled lanes to the crumbling grand archways and surprising niches that contain religious icons. Three of the 44 churches around town are located near the main piazza, including Chiesa dell’Addolorata, which holds remarkable provincial art and a welcoming devout atmosphere. The day is yours to enjoy the Basilicata region and the spectacular beaches at the base of the town.

Fiumicello Beach is a lovely stretch of soft sand along the dramatic craggy coastline. The water shimmers azure in the distance, but it remains clear as it laps at the beach. Beach bars and kiosks known as lidi line the shore. You can find a parasol and a lounge chair and settle into the luxury of the Italian beach-life as the scent of fruity cocktails blends with the salty sea aroma. People venture out into the water on kayaks and pedal boats as you dip your toes into the sea and let the refreshing water rise to your ankles to leave layers of sea salt on your skin.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Maratea – Relish the Town of Rivello and the Roman Village of Grumentum

After breakfast set out and discover the region of Basilicata beyond the serene pleasures of Maratea. The town of Rivello is located atop a ridge that overlooks the Noce Valley. The noble figure of San Nicola dei Greci dominates the western edge of town and towers above the stone homes and quiet cobbled streets. Basilian monks founded the town, and it quickly became a coveted place due to its strategic location on the hilltops. The 15th-century complex of a former convent contains 16th-century portico, along with a fresco painted by Pietrafesa, also known as Giovanni de Gregorio, in the 17th-century. Two stone lions flank the main entrance, and the interior contains elements of Baroque styles.

The Lombard and Byzantine influences split the city in half after years of battling for supremacy. Stairs meander around town and lead to narrow streets as the churches maintain the variety of art and religious monuments for which the city is known, including the 18th-century counter-wooden ceiling in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo. The Roman town of Grumentum was mentioned in historical writings as early as the 3rd-century BC, most notably when forces lead by Hannibal encamped near the city. The site was connected to the town of Venosa along the Appian Way, and your guide will lead you through the ruins of the Romans and preserved Middle Age relics that continue to fill the hilltop town.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Savelletri – Revel in the History at Matera en route to the Adriatic Coast

Today you will leave the sleepy lanes and vibrant panoramas of Maratea for the turquoise glow of the Adriatic Sea along the coast of the Puglia region. En route, stop in the unique town of Matera as it overlooks a large gorge. Arrive in town and will notice the caves carved into the canyon walls as they turn the landscape into a relative beehive. The medieval town stands atop the plateau that ascends with the terraced streets and is crowned by the cathedral. The town center is the oldest neighborhood in Matera and looms over the caves carved into the ravine.

The region boasts 9,000 years of continuous human habitation and hides it’s history in the abundant layers of the streets and subterranean homes. Along the main streets, find Castello Tramontano, a 15th-century stronghold left unfinished after the death of its patron. Four tiles on via Riscatto recount the tail of the count’s death and the abandonment of the castle structure. Beneath the medieval town, find Sasso Barisano, one of the two districts of cave dwellings restored to show visitors the lifestyle of the local people after heavy refurbishment.

Shops sell traditional ceramics and stand beside restaurants that emit a luscious aroma of rich sauces and lamb-based stews. The meandering lanes open to a view of the ravine with caves that pepper the opposite hillside like a honeycomb. Once in Puglia, find your accommodation in the shade of an 800-year-old olive grove. The secluded and rustic charm of the landscape gives way to the luxury of your hotel, its whitewashed façade, elegant pool, and private gold-sand beach. 

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast, dinner

Day 10: Savelletri – Traverse the Trulli Hills with a Primitivo Wine Tour 

In the morning, dip your feet in the cool sand and let the Adriatic Sea wash over your toes. The scent of fresh espresso emanates from your hotel. After breakfast, your private guide will meet you in the lobby ready to show you the beauty of the Puglia region beyond the coastline. The region is best known as the heel of Italy’s boot as the coastline turns to olive groves that surround the whitewashed homes of hill towns. The circular huts are known as Trulli and resemble hives with their conical stone roofs.

In the town of Martina Franca, discover the bleached white facades that line the narrow winding alleys, each with a window frame overflowing with bright red geraniums. The traditional white structures lead to Baroque and Rococo architecture that frames the public piazzas, each adorned with elaborate ironwork balconies. Refugees that fled from coastal invasions founded the town in the 10th-century, and the Porto Santo Stefano, a historic gateway, leads to the old town center where old men play dominoes and chat about the town gossip.

In a small, overlooked restaurant that resembles a wine cellar you can indulge in the Primitivo grape, the regional grape that produces both celebrated and casual table wines. The refreshing temperature takes you out of afternoon heat, and the staff is friendly, attentive, and helpful, eager to explain the wines as well as any dish you wish to accompany a glass, bottle, or sample. The interior has a wide arch as the wine has a ruby hue with an aroma of bold spices and dark cherries.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch

Day 11: Savelletri – Uncover Caves, Beaches, and Hot Springs near Fasano Valley

After breakfast, set out to the sea on a private boat to discover the secluded caves and grottoes along the Adriatic coast. Your hotel has a spa situated inside one of the natural caves of the shoreline, and outside the fig trees and traditional farms spread across the plain. Goats graze on the lush grass that leads to medieval castles. The seaside promenade in the town of Savelletri leads to the Lido Ottagono, a rustic beach club celebrated for its large parasols and decadent cuisine. Harbor-side cafes set out their tables along the cobbled walkway, and locals enjoy snacking on creamy, cold gelato with a view of the shimmering cobalt water.

Return from your exploration of the shore and venture next to Fasano, a small town less than two miles away from the coast. Ancient olive trees and cylindrical trulli rise out of the countryside. The town was erected in the 11th-century and today boasts the largest zoo safari in Italy with a protected environment of 1,000 animals. Venture into the hills on a guided tour of Parco Rupestre Lama d’Antico as the aroma of wild chamomile flowers and capers overtakes the trail. A cathedral adorns the hillside full of frescoes of Catholic and Greek Orthodox icons. The church was erected in the Middle Ages between the 6th and 14th-centuries AD and nearby, hidden among the olive groves, you can find remnants of a small cave settlement.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 12: Bari – Depart for Home

Today you will say goodbye to the coastal luxury of your hotel on the Adriatic and make your way to the charming port city of Bari, the capital of the Puglia region. The city is a hub for visitors on their way to Greece or the eastern Adriatic ports by ferry. Bari flourished in the 11th-century under the Byzantines and contains a picturesque antique district with a labyrinth of narrow streets that lead to the end of the peninsula. The white stone basilica was erected in the 11th-century to house the relics of St. Nicholas, and the portals contain intricately detailed engravings and large stone animals that guard the main entrance. History comes alive with a 12th-century tabernacle, and an apse decorated with a marble bishop’s throne. After a brief exploration of the city, your guide will lead you to Bari Karol Wojtyla Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: transfer, breakfast 

Price

Price 

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.